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Another year means exciting developments for L&D! But, it’s not always easy to keep up with the latest learning trends, especially when there are so many, and it can be even harder to know when to sit up and take notice.  

One aspect that hasn’t yet been explored for L&D in 2024, is the necessity to take a closer look at how we manage training and the technologies that can make learning operations more efficient. Sure, back-office tech may not be as flashy as AI or VR, but it’s an absolute must for any L&D professional looking to stay ahead of the game and build sustainable, future-proof training for any audience. 

As we get started in 2024, it’s clear that there’s a lot of buzz (and even more confusion) surrounding new technologies. But without the right foundations in place, there is no point in racing ahead to integrate AI content into every facet of your program. So what are the real learning trends of 2024? 

trends in training and development 2024

Unsurprisingly, some of the key 2023 training trends will continue into this year. Let’s explore some of the biggest 2024 training trends we’re predicting will stick around or emerge onto the scene. 

Beyond Pure “Learning Technology” 

L&D is no longer just about the Learning Management System (LMS) or Learning Experience Platform (LXP) as the main parts of the learning tech stack. Instead, we’ll see more “consumer technology” being implemented to achieve a wide range of objectives, including augmented or virtual reality (AR and VR), gamification, social platforms, and the ever-growing popularity of artificial intelligence in learning.

Internal Employee Development 

Upskilling and reskilling are going to remain at the top of the priority list for many L&D departments in 2024. 68% of enterprise organizations say that upskilling employees at the speed of business is a major challenge for them right now. This helps sharpen employees’ skills and is a more cost-effective approach than hiring new employees. This requires a commitment to continuous learning, rather than “one-and-done” training workshops. 

Increased Customer and Partner Training 

2024 will see an increase in the amount of customer education and partner training, contributing to enhanced extended enterprise training programs. Globally, software and technology usage is set to increase 300% by 2027, meaning customers and partners will need a lot more support. According to a recent talk with Fiona Leteney of the Fosway Group, extended enterprise training will continue to grow as companies across the globe expand their services and the breadth of their products.  Training providers and organizations must be prepared to offer the increased training required by this wider audience, which relies heavily on successful training delivery. 

Outside the Technology 

Our 2024 learning trends will be influenced by more than technology alone.  

For instance, could there be another recession on the horizon? According to Josh Bersin, most verticals are facing hiring freezes, forcing businesses to focus on getting the most out of their current talent and investing in learning “needs” versus “wants.”  

Among Bersin’s Four Rs (recruit, retain, reskill, redesign), most HR protocols will focus on retaining top talent, with reskilling a secondary priority to keep operations afloat. Despite predicted labor shortages, recruitment, and extensive program redesign are likely to take a backseat this year for most organizations as they look to minimize economic risk. 

Too Much Focus on Learning Management Systems as the Only Education Technology  

A question all instructional designers (and learning teams) need to ask themselves in 2024 is “What is our learning software doing for us?”. 

The vast majority of organizations use an LMS for all types of training programs. The LMS makes up nearly 85% of the learning software market. While an LMS is invaluable to the learning ecosystem, it can’t do everything nor should it. More than likely an LMS won’t have a fully dedicated suite of tools that can cater towards course scheduling and management of resources associated with a large number of courses.  Organizations that offer large, complex, and live training programs via Instructor-Led Training (ILT), Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT), or hybrid training must invest in looking at specific training management features that cater to ILT/VILT operations.

Focus on Your Training Administrators 

While it’s always useful to make learning easier on the learner side, what about the people organizing and administering your training? Very often, they’re struggling to grapple with systems that aren’t fit for purpose, making it much harder than it needs to be to deliver great learning experiences. 

That’s why it’s time to look beyond the LMS when it comes to managing processes and operations for L&D goals. New LMS technology tends to focus on incorporating the latest trends from the learner side, such as VR, gamification, multimedia content, and even artificial intelligence. However, most new learning techs are additions that will benefit the learner more than the training back office.

Maybe, then, it’s time for L&D teams to be a bit selfish and think about their own needs. Nine times out of 10, the LMS isn’t the complete solution to solving your back-office processes. That’s where the Training Management System (TMS) comes in. 

Training Management Processes Are Still Overlooked  

OK, so training management may not be as shiny and exciting as the new wave of AI technology. But it’s no less important, and it’s especially valuable for your training admin team, who likely need much more support than your current learner-focused LMS typically offers. 

L&D departments and HR teams are often told to plan and schedule training which should then be rolled out as needed. Sounds simple, right? Well, not necessarily – especially when we consider how many organizations are looking to grow their training programs in 2024. 

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Improving the Training Experience 

Though there’s a lot we can automate through the smart use of technology, training projects still rely on human input, including the expertise of our training admins. Here’s where the right tech can come in handy: switched-on training admins coupled with the right software can significantly improve the smooth running of your program. 

No matter how much planning takes place within the L&D team, it’s still virtually impossible to know for sure exactly what training will be needed over a year. Things change quickly, whether that’s business priorities, the economic landscape, or the skills required to do a good job.  

For the best possible training experience, L&D teams need technology that allows them to schedule and organize training with ease, even if things change fast. Rescheduling a training course, duplicating workshops, or switching instructors should be easy to avoid hours or even days, of unnecessary admin work for the back-office team. The result of this slows down the entire process of delivering training to the client and of course, the learner.

On top of this, do your admins know how to measure the utilization and success rates of their training? Your LMS gives you information on eLearning completion rates and online assessments, but how do you know if your live training is being attended, understood, and received well? If you’re not sure, it could be time to consider adding a TMS to your tech stack. 

Why Investing in Training Management System Will be Critical for Successful Learning and Growing the Business of Training 

In his rapid review of learning technology for 2024, industry analyst John Leh described TMS tech as “indispensable for those who need it.” So who needs it? 

Any large, expanding organization with hundreds or thousands of employees will benefit from the added features and functionality found in a TMS. This includes streamlined training scheduling, rescheduling, resource allocation, budget tracking, and training impact reporting, giving learning teams a better insight into the overall direction and success of the learning strategy. 

Why Investing in a TMS Means Investing in Your People 

Investing in people will be an even bigger trend in 2024 than in recent years, both in and outside the organization. That means investing not just in employees, but also customers and partners. That’s why L&D must invest in the right technologies to make the lives of L&D specialists easier, as it’s no mean feat to juggle the busy schedules and learning needs of so many different audiences. 

A Training Management System such as Training Orchestra gives L&D teams the best possible insight into their current training and where it’s headed next and makes it easy to pivot your strategy in just a few clicks.  

For instance, if your C-suite decides it’s time to break into a new market, your L&D team can quickly identify the instructors best placed to deliver the required training to make that happen at speed. If you push back the launch of a flagship product, you can easily reschedule your global product training to accommodate this without the hassle of trawling through spreadsheets and following up with attendees manually. 

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What’s Next in 2024? 

Whether you’re using new learning technologies, experimenting with typically consumer-focused tech, or leveraging your ILT or vILT, implementing a TMS will be beneficial for virtually any large organization looking to streamline the direction of its learning in 2024. 

in his review on learning technology insights for 2024, John Leh of Talented Learning stated “You can’t afford not to have a TMS if your organization depends upon a complex ecosystem, multiple LMSs with shared content and processes, or high-volume ILT, vILT or hybrid training.” 

This, paired with other key 2024 learning trends such as proving the impact of training, AI-powered content authoring, and extended enterprise training ensures that getting the right tech in place will be a priority for any organization serious about creating better, more efficient training, no matter what that looks like. 

Looking to make 2024 the year you level up your training operations? Get in touch today for your no-obligation demo of Training Orchestra to see how you can streamline your training in 2024 and beyond. 

Training Orchestra: Software to Improve the Process of Training

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For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has helped over 600 training companies, corporate L&D departments, and associations worldwide to address instructor-led training operations management challenges for their employee, customer, partner, or member training programs. We’ve developed the perfect training management system to address the most critical needs of corporate L&D and training businesses.

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